With record-breaking temperatures occurring during the summer months, reports of delivery truck drivers falling ill while on their routes have increased. Drivers exerting themselves with heavy lifting, tighter delivery schedules and longer work shifts have landed in emergency rooms across Georgia and throughout the nation.
Not only are delivery employees working in scorching temperatures, many trucks and warehouses are also lacking air conditioning. Cargo areas may reach temperatures as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit. As reported by NBC News, heat-related fainting, convulsions and kidney failure contributed to hundreds of work-related injuries occurring both in warehouses and on the road.
When managers push drivers to speed up and increase the volume of package deliveries, a lack of attention to workplace-safety issues raises concerns. Supervisors encouraging their employees to work while feeling ill could lead to accidents and on-the-job injuries when employees handle large packages and make speedy deliveries.
A supervisor’s unreasonable expectations of increased productivity may cause workplace injuries severe enough to require time off for recovery. When filling in for unscheduled employee absences, the remaining workers may find themselves increasing and adding to their already overburdened workloads.
When an employee suffers a work-related injury, he or she may file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. An employer’s insurance carrier generally covers expenses for claim-related hospital stays, medical treatments, surgeries, time off from work and rehabilitation. As noted by KTVA-TV, employees in Georgia may also apply for temporary total disability benefits when a workplace injury causes a severely debilitating medical condition.
Workers who overexert themselves when forced to do so by an employer may worsen an otherwise unknown medical condition. Under certain circumstances, a proven connection between unreasonable work demands and a newly-developed illness or ailment may expose an employer to a legal action.